Glastonbury Recap. Part 2 – Saturday, Sunday

Saturday begins with a bleary noggin, a bacon and brie baguette, coffee and a nice relaxed audience with everyone’s favourite convicted drug smuggler Howard Marks. Despite technical difficulties he managed to soldier on and regaled the crowd with tales of vicious inmates, machete wielding killers and hallucinogenic toads. A thoroughly enjoyable session and the perfect calming cure following the previous nights excess. He tours often so try and catch him if you can. Swiftly followed by one of the best Milkshakes I’ve ever had, were The Bees on the Jazz World who were great despite the rain coming down again. Wash in the rain, Chicken Payback and especially A Minha Menina guaranteed that the rain and mud would soon be forgotten all about. After a quick beer stop, we get ready for CSS. They turn out to be as mad as a box frogs, particularly the lead singer Lovefoxx who was sporting a catsuit so bright she must be visible from space. One of the highlights of the festival for sure. After standing in the rain for the entire duration of CSS’ set we chose to take shelter in the Pussy Parlor where all kinds of circus acts, dancing girls, acrobatics and burlesque thing were happening. A Square Pie fills a much needed hole and supplies us with the energy required for DJ Yoda. Often touted as one of the DJs you must see before you die, he certainly lived up to the hype. He was on top form, mixing Star Wars and Muppet Show theme tunes alongside Bob Marley, Johnny Cash and plenty scratching and hip hop beats. You find a track list let me have it. We stuck around for the beginning of Mark Ronson’s DJ set which sounded good but jettisoned that for some drinks and a freshen up in readiness for Mr Scruff’s headlining set. It’s the first time I’ve seen Mr Scruff and as DJ Yoda, he’s also touted as another DJ you must see before you die. His set was absolutely top draw. Highlight of the whole festival. The set was accompanied with a big screen telling the crowd to “Hold on to your tent pegs”, “That is a prize winning marrow of a bassline” “Wobble Your Wellies”. Piss funny. If you want a taste of what the set was like pick up his Solid Steel Mix CD on Ninja Tune. It’s aces…..but not as good as his live set ; )

Sunday we managed to catch the tail end of the next big things, The Enemy who sounded like they will be the next big thing. Breakfast and a beer was soundtracked by Cold War Kids who were adequate. If you saw their recent set on Later With Jools Holland, it was ten times better than that. Next was a trip to the Green Fields for a calm moment as I was feeling ropey. A copy of the Guardian and sit down sorted me out but we were enticed into a tent which was oozing some trippy 70’s synth space rock. It happened to be a hippy armed with a guitar and a synth and he wasn’t afraid to use them. That was provided members of the crowd got themselves on the tandem bike which was powering the electrics for the tent. Considering I’d just managed to pull myself out of a semi-hangover I passed on that one. So in an effort to ditch the hangover we headed over to the Queen’s Head next to the Other Stage for some more beer and to watch the tail-end of The Rakes. They were joined by Kate Jackson of Wakefield / Sheffield group the Long Blondes to perform Johnny Cash’s and June Carter’s Jackson and also did the great 22 Grand Job. Mika followed The Rakes and he was better than expected to be honest. Quite a talent that fella even when joined by a whole load of fancy dress animals for his final song. Good job I wasn’t on acid like some of the festival goers. That would have sent me over the edge. The Go! Team followed and they were superb as expected. We caught the first few songs of The View but had to leave. We weren’t ever going to miss the chance to see Pendulum do a live set and they nearly blew the roof off the Dance East tent. Astonishing. They even had the balls to cover The Prodigy’s (their spiritual forefathers) Voodoo People with aplomb. If you don’t own their album “Hold Your Colour” then you should. Fact. After having our heads blown off we trundled back to the Other Stage to see the Chemical Brothers bring the festival to a close. As usual they delivered the goods with a fantastic set complete with a fantastic light show complete with unnerving clowns and quality lasers. The only one small tiny gripe was that the set seems to end suddenly with no encore either. Very strange for the final night. Maybe they’d come too close to the curfew and had to wind it up.

And so another brilliant Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts comes to an end. Roll on 2008 !

Glastonbury Recap. Part 1 – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

177,494 people, me and six friends have once again braved the elements to experience another fantastic yet muddy Glastonbury festival. I’m beginning to think Mother Nature has a serious problem with one particular weekend in June.

The whole shebang started of swimmingly on Wednesday evening. A late midnight arrival to Worthy Farm didn’t result in any serious darkness erection issues. The planned camping spot behind the railway track clearly wasn’t going to happen. It seemed that everyone had decided to turn up on the Wednesday instead of usual Thursday so a quick shufty around the new Dairy camping area was required. Near the toilets? Nah. Near bacon stall? Nah. We had a vegetarian in our midst. A few hundred metres and the large green uncamped area fit the bill. The tents were up in 30 mins even with the Stella flowing. A few more beers (a lot more actually) and it’s time to get some shut eye.

Thursday and it’s exploring time. Up to Lost Vagueness for some wierdness, across to the Avalon field to gaze longingly at the dry, comfortable Tipis, through the Circus and Cabaret to the Jazz World Stage for a beer. Pear cider had to do as strangely that was the only alcohol on sale… It was bloody strong though. A quick Pyramid Stage appreciation moment and we made ourselves comfortable outside the Queen’s Head for more alcoholic enjoyment. Many drinks later and it’s the obligatory trip up the stone circle for peace and calm and and we end the night in a hazy serene fashion.

Friday and now the rain comes as does the mud but the Dunkirk spirit kicks in and everyone just gets on with the task at hand, drinking and watching music. First band on the other stage is Mr Hudson and the Library. I couldn’t quite make out the library but I did see a band do a good set and cheer up the crowd in the process. Next up, Reverend and the Makers. This was the third time I’ve seen them and they just get better every time. The Reverend was on top form. A walking soundbite. “We’re Reverend and the Makers and we’re here to blow your heads off!” He threatened to nick Bjork’s monitors. Dedicated Armchair Detective to “bands who don’t want to speak out for fear of alienating their audience. Your band not a business. Think about it!” A great great band, who in my opinion, the only way is up. The rain and a need to locate a beer means we take shelter in the Bread and Rose beer tent. This means we miss fellow Wakefielders, The Cribs, but bump into friends from Wakefield instead. Many beers later and seeing Pritchard from Dirty Sanchez we take in the crazy sounds of Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band in the Dance East tent. A “quick walk” up the new Park area means we end up missing Chas and Dave due to toilet queues but I did end up seeing a man in a boat up a tree dangling a basket for you to put wishes in. Only in Glastonbury eh? One wish later and a trundle past a mid-set The Coral to dance like a nutter to Simian Mobile Disco. If you don’t own their album, Attack Decay Sustain Release, well you should. Get it now. Right now. Next up were Kasabian and headliners Arctic Monkeys at the Pyramid Stage. Both brilliant classic-ridden sets if somewhat jarring energy forces on stage. An excellent end to another fun filled Glastonbury day. To be continued…

p.s. Don’t bug me about Glastonbury photos. They’re on their way ! Failing that add me on Facebook as they’re up there. : )

Full Glasto Lineup

177,500 people have waited patiently until today for the official unveiling of the 2007 Glastonbury lineup. Pretty much all of the predicted artists are in the lineup, Arctic Monkeys, Killers, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Bjork, Kaiser Chiefs, Fat Boy Slim and Chemical Brothers with overall few surprises. It’s a shame that Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, Mark Lanegan and most disappointedly Beastie Boys aren’t showing up. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ll have to give Bestival a go…

The Guardian website has a far better lineup listing than the official one. Like the official one, all the acts across all stages are detailed but more importantly comes complete with appearance times too. So, if you’re a geek like me you can start planning your days viewing now. Then again, this is Glastonbury and anything could happen. Best laid plans and all that…

Nice to see Steve McClaren hailing David Beckham’s performance in his return to the England squad in tonight’s 1-1 draw against Brazil. It does beg the question, “What did you drop him for you nob?”

Rain in Spain falls…

You go to Madrid for five days for a wedding. It’s pissing it down. You stay cooped up in your hotel because the Spaniards are having the worst rain in fifty years. You land back on UK soil. It’s pissing it down. You go to Sheffield to watch Reverend and the Makers (photos are in, well, erm, the photos section) and want to make a day of it bouncing round pubs. It’s pissing it down. You want to sit in the garden having a few drinks on a bank holiday Monday. It’s pissing it down. British Weather eh? Pfft.

So to combat the boredom and to save me from swinging from the nearest crossbeam I decided to get my arse into gear and finally put some new photos up. If you’re on them, enjoy. If not, come out for a beer sometime. It’s always an adventure….

Meanwhile in other news, get yourself out your local record store and invest in the latest in the always decent DJ Kicks series. This time comes the turn of Hot Chip to provide us with an insight into their musical tastes and it’s somewhat aces. Buy it (or obtain it by nefarious means but on your conscious be it).

Also, White Stripes imminent return to the music scene is upon us with their new track “Icky Thump”. Someone should tell them it’s Ecky Thump but they probably know this and are purposefully riling the Yorkshire population. As expected, the new single is as mad as a bag of cats with Jack doing a his best Robert Plant impression over what sounds like a stylophone and Meg doing what she always does, drumming….in….time….to….a….metronome….

Anyways, check it out;

Paris Idiot

According to an article in the Times today, Paris Hilton thinks that she should be spared from serving a 45-day jail sentence for a drink driving offence because “she provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our mundane lives.” Firstly, the way that she thinks that her “celebrity status” or money somehow elevates her above the law stinks. She broke the law, as many of us do but she got caught so she should deal with it. Secondly, the fact that she claims to provide beauty and excitement. Not in my eyes she doesn’t. Not unless you consider a dodgy porn tape exciting and an annoying pout coupled with a car alighting upskirt shot to be beauty. Fair enough, she scrubs up well but she is no beauty. The fact that her fate lays in the hands of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes this even more bizarre. I reckon he should stick rods up to her request, march her into jail personally, dressed as T-800 and with her dressed as Sarah Connor. Purely for shits and giggles like.

Bank Holiday Donny Solider

Bank Holidays are great. They’re even better when I’m not on call. This means I can attempt to drink my own body weight in alcohol. I popped along to Escobar in Wakefield on Friday night to watch Devvo, who’s touring to promote his new DVD and album “From Yorkshire To New York”. The place was rammed and Devvo was pretty funny. He did all his classics, Crystal Meffin, Boys On The Beach, Donny Soldier, and Fuck Em Yung.

He went down a storm with the crowd cos he were proper boshty as owt like. Anyway, must dash. Pub is calling…